Chapter 2

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  • 1. Foundations of Individual Behavior 2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved.

2. Chapter Learning Objectives

  • After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
    • Contrast the two types of ability.
    • Define intellectual ability and demonstrate its relevance to OB.
    • Identify the key biographical characteristics and describe how they are relevant to OB.
    • Define learning and outline the principles of the three major theories of learning.
    • Define shaping, and show how it can be used in OB.
    • Show how culture affects our understanding of intellectual abilities, biographical characteristics, and learning.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 3. Ability

  • An individuals capacity to perform the various tasks in a job.
  • Made up of two sets of factors:
    • Intellectual Abilities
      • The abilities needed to perform mental activities.
      • General Mental Ability (GMA) isa measure of overall intelligence.
      • Wonderlic Personnel Test: a quick measure of intelligence for recruitment screening.
      • No correlation between intelligence and job satisfaction.
    • Physical Abilities
      • The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 4. Dimensions of Intellectual Ability E X H I B I T2 12- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 5. Nine Basic Physical Abilities

  • Strength Factors
    • Dynamic strength
    • Trunk strength
    • Static strength
    • Explosive strength
  • Flexibility Factors
    • Extent flexibility
    • Dynamic flexibility
  • Other Factors
    • Body coordination
    • Balance
    • Stamina

E X H I B I T2 2 2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 6. Biographical Characteristics

  • Objective and easily obtained personal characteristics.
  • Age
    • Older workers bring experience, judgment, a strong work ethic, and commitment to quality.
  • Gender
    • Few differences between men and women that affect job performance.
  • Race(the biological heritage used to identify oneself)
    • Contentious issue: differences exist, but could be more culture-based than race-based.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 7. Other Biographical Characteristics

  • Tenure
    • People with job tenure (seniority at a job) are more productive, absent less frequently, have lower turnover, and are more satisfied.
  • Religion
    • Islam is especially problematic in the workplace in this post-9/11 world.
  • Sexual Orientation
    • Federal law does not protect against discrimination (but state or local laws may).
    • Domestic partner benefits are important considerations.
  • Gender Identity
    • Relatively new issue transgendered employees.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 8. Learning

  • Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience
  • Learning components:

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 9. Theories of Learning

  • Classical Conditioning
    • A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response.
  • Operant Conditioning
    • A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.
  • Social-Learning Theory
    • People can learn through observation and direct experience.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 10. Classical Conditioning

  • Pavlovs Dog Drool
  • Key Concepts:
    • Unconditioned stimulus
      • A naturally occurring phenomenon.
    • Unconditioned response
      • The naturally occurring response to a natural stimulus.
    • Conditioned stimulus
      • An artificial stimulus introduced into the situation.
    • Conditioned response
      • The response to the artificial stimulus.
  • This is a passive form of learning.It is reflexive and not voluntary not the best theory for OB learning.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 11. Operant Conditioning

  • B. F. Skinners concept ofBehaviorism :behavior follows stimuli in a relatively unthinking manner .
  • Key Concepts:
    • Conditioned behavior: voluntary behavior that is learned, not reflexive.
    • Reinforcement: the consequences of behavior which can increase or decrease the likelihood of behavior repetition.
    • Pleasing consequences increase likelihood of repetition.
    • Rewards are most effective immediately after performance.
    • Unrewarded/punished behavior is unlikely to be repeated.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 12. Social-Learning Theory

  • Based on the idea that people can also learnindirectly : by observation, reading, or just hearing about someone elses a models experiences .
  • Key Concepts:
    • Attentional processes
      • Must recognize and pay attention to critical features to learn.
    • Retention processes
      • Models actions must be remembered to be learned.
    • Motor reproduction processes
      • Watching the models behavior must be converted to doing.
    • Reinforcement processes
      • Positive incentives motivatelearners.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 13. Shaping: A Managerial Tool

  • Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response.
  • Four Methods of Shaping Behavior:
    • Positive reinforcement
      • Providing a reward for a desired behavior (learning)
    • Negative reinforcement
      • Removing an unpleasant consequence when the desired behavior occurs (learning)
    • Punishment
      • Applying an undesirable condition to eliminate an undesirable behavior (unlearning)
    • Extinction
      • Withholding reinforcement of a behavior to cause its cessation (unlearning)

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 14. Schedules of Reinforcement: A Critical Issue

  • Two Major Types:
    • Continuous Reinforcement
      • A desired behavior is reinforced each time it is demonstrated
    • Intermittent Reinforcement
      • A desired behavior is reinforced often enough to make the behavior worth repeating but not every time it is demonstrated
      • Multiple frequencies

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 15. Types of Intermittent Reinforcement

  • Ratio
    • Depends on the number of responses made.
  • Interval
    • Depends on the time between reinforcements.
  • Fixed
    • Rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals or after a set number of responses.
  • Variable
    • Rewards that are unpredictable or that vary relative to the behavior.

2- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. 16. Schedules of Reinforcement E X H I B I T2 32- 2009 Prentice-Hall Inc.All rights reserved. Fixed-rat

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